Pitching at conferences with Sarah Gates


Ever wanted to try your hand at pitching your book at a writer’s conference or festival? Then this podcast episode is for you, my lovelies! This week, I’m chatting to debut author, Sarah Gates, who pitched her contemporary romance novel at two separate writer’s conferences last year. This lead to her manuscript being requested by all seven (YES SEVEN!) publishers including Hachette, Pan Macmillan, Penguin, Random Romance, Simon & Schuster, Tule Publishing and Harlequin. This resulted in her being offered a publishing deal with Harlequin Books’s MIRA imprint for her novel, Love Elimination, which hits shelves on 1st July 2016. What a story!

sarahgates_loveeliminationWho is Sarah Gates?

Sarah Gates is an Adelaide-based writer. She is an undergraduate student of Law and Arts and the 2015 winner of the $12,500 Colin Thiele Scholarship for Creative Writing. Her first novel, a young adult fiction story, was originally published on Wattpad when she was just 16-years-old and has attracted over 9.5 million views and counting! At 16, I was too busy worrying about missing my weekly Dawson’s Creek fix and how to wear my hair in pom-pom pigtails à la Britney Spears to sit down and write a novel – let alone finish it and upload it to Wattpad!

Since then, Sarah has self-published her YA novel and teaches workshops on ebooks and self publishing at SA Writers Centre. Now in her early twenties (!) Sarah has turned her keyboard to writing contemporary romance novels full of glamour, handsome men and happy endings. Love Elimination, a fun, flirty insight into the behind-the-scenes of a reality television dating show, is due for release on 1st July 2016. When people ask her if she wants to be a lawyer, she laughs. She’s perfectly happy writing and working in media and marketing and spends her time watching theatre, dancing and bingeing on reality television. Hear, hear!

In this episode you’ll hear:

  • Why she decided to publish her first book on Wattpad.
  • What is it exactly about the romance genre that appeals to her so much.
  • More about the panel she recently hosted at the Sydney Writer’s Festival in May 2016, alongside “Bachie Recaps Rosie,” Rosie Waterland (The Anti-Cool Girl).
  • How her pitch was requested by seven major publishers at the 2015 Pitch Conference and 2015 Romance Writers of Australia Conference.
  • Her top tips for pitching directly to publishers at conference. REALLY worth listening to!
  • For more of her pitching pearls of wisdom, make sure to check out this article she wrote on the very subject.

Also mentioned in the episode:

  • Vanessa and I discuss this article, The Snobs and Me, written by author Jennifer Weiner for The New York Times.
  • For information about Kirsty Manning’s Literary Dinners, visit her website.

itunes_logoListen to the episode here.

Connect with Sarah on the interwebz:


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